Where Oklahoma ranks for Latino college bound students

Published By
Fox 25 News
Published On
February 7, 2020

Oklahoma State University-- Oklahoma City has one of the largest percentages of Hispanic students enrolled and is listed as an emerging institution for Latino students according to national group Excelencia in Education.

In general, the state has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the nation and it skews young, about 24-years-old for the median. Excelencia in Education says there is still a gap when it comes to college education, and outreach can be part of the solution.

Getting to college has become more difficult for all students. It's not just about getting in, but the cost, support system, and the college's understanding of student needs.

“Data we see at the national level shows that 40-percent of Latinos who actually go to college are the first in their family to go to college,” says Deborah Santiago, Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education.

Santiago add, through a FaceTime interview, that first-generation student struggles apply to all first-generation college students, but that gaps are more pronounce in the Latino population. Excelencia in Education says that one of those gaps includes parents being unable to help their children because they don't speak the language well if at all.

“The value of having the information in Spanish and English is such that our parents can engage in the same conversations with us to decide and inform what is best for the family and certainly for the student,” says Santiago.

By the numbers, OU is the top school awarding Hispanic students a bachelor’s degree. For an Associate’s degree, the top spot goes to Oklahoma City Community College. Oklahoma State University- OKC has one of the highest percentages of a Hispanic student population in the state.

Because the median age for Latinos in Oklahoma is so young, it matters what is happening to students.

The k-12 population of Latino students is inching closer to 20 percent, but only about half of that percentage of students or less are heading to college.

According to data from the Excelencia in Education, of the Latino students that go to college, graduation rates are nearly identical compared to white students.

For high school students who are college bound now is the time to get information on college admissions and apply for scholarships to help offset the high cost of school.